I'm not sure I ever had a copy of the contract at my old district, but I'm looking through the contract for the new one and I am blown away. By how many things did not happen in the old one. I don't know if the old district had these stipulations in their contract too and they just got ignored or if they didn't even have them. But either way, here is my list of Things That Are Exciting in My New Contract, complete with snarky commentary.
1. "The District shall provide each unit member access to a computer workstation with legally purchased and licensed software and/or network access necessary for the support of educational programs and to fulfill necessary professional requirements. The District shall provide each unit member with access to at least one printer that is free from student access.
Really? We won't have to beg for free computers and literally have friends build new computers out of rejected parts in order to have some sort of technology in the classroom? And a printer... wow... that's living the dream.
2. Each site shall be provided with the following for staff use: a lunchroom/faculty lounge, adequately furnished, adequate lavatory facilities for staff use only, telephone facilities which provide privacy.
Notice it doesn't say that the lunchroom can't smell like pee. Phones that call out and provide privacy? That's just weird.
3. Each school site will have classrooms usable for teachers at least three working days before teachers are required to report back to work.
Interesting alternative to the answer I got from a principal:
Me: I still can't get into my classroom because the custodians haven't finished with it and school starts tomorrow.
Principal: I really don't know what you're going to do about that.
4. The District shall provide the following storage space: a separate lockable drawer space with key at every teaching station for every teacher, lockable closet space with key to store coats and other personal articles.
And they mean it - I got the keys today and there is a key to a drawer and a key to a closet. Bizarre. My method was always to just put my wallet, etc on top of the closets, which I could barely reach and I knew a kid couldn't reach. This solution is better.
5. Every classroom and major work area shall have a reliable means of communication to the site office and 911.
Yeah, I had that. It was called my cell phone. Sometimes I'd call the office from my cell phone because it worked better than the school phones. And 911 too. From the cell phone.
It'll be interesting to see how this experience is different!